U.S. Treasury Department Recognizes Aura with CDFI Certification
Designation opens up access for banks to invest billions in Aura’s credit-building loans to low-income households
SAN FRANCISCO -- The US Treasury Department awarded the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification to Aura's (formerly Insikt) white label lending service. Aura is a mission-driven fintech company scaling to provide affordable, credit-building loans structured for repayment success to 66-million underbanked and unbanked consumers. Aura’s loan is available in 700 locations across California, Illinois, Texas and Arizona. CDFI certification is federal recognition of Aura’s product and mission to improve the lives and financial health of low-income households.
CDFI certification creates a new opportunity for Aura to partner with banks nationwide to invest in underserved communities. The designation enables banks to legally invest in Aura securities in the promotion of public welfare and, depending on geography, fulfill their CRA obligations. Banks can also better serve their low-income customers by offering Aura’s credit-building loans through their retail branches. At the same time, Aura can unlock billions from banks nationwide to finance its loan making at scale.
There are 1,064 certified Community Development Financial Institutions nationwide, and selection is made under an extensive application and review process. The majority of CDFIs are non-profit. INSIKT joins the select group of for-profit enterprises which meet the stringent standards for helping communities, not hurting them.
"An Aura loan is the very first step for many of the 66-million underbanked and unbanked in building a good credit score; one that will enable them to reach their dreams," said James Gutierrez, Founder and CEO, Aura. "We are humbled to join this inspiring group of mission-driven financial institutions and look forward to the opportunity of partnering with banks to solve affordable access to capital once and for all."
For more information, see James Gutierrez's blog about INSIKT's CDFI Certification.
Congressman J. Luis Correa (46th District, California) said, "I commend Aura in becoming CDFI certified. INSIKT has helped many low-income families establish credit from 30 stores in my district alone. This special designation will enable Aura to further its mission of bringing economic justice to all of America."
Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities and end reliance on predatory lenders by providing affordable credit to America's 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Driven by a 'do no harm' ethos, Aura proudly differentiates its products by intentionally designing for customer success. Aura loans are offered only to those who meet the ability to repay standard. We're proud that 67% of our repeat customers grew their credit score by an average of 312 points when applying for a second loan. Currently available in more than 700 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of loans to underserved individuals in need of credit since launching in 2014.